Boris Johnson to lead new coronavirus strategy committee

Boris Johnson will lead a new coronavirus strategy committee as part of a shakeup of the Government’s response to the pandemic, Downing Street has confirmed.

The Prime Minister earlier told MPs that he takes “full responsibility for everything this Government has been doing” in tackling Covid-19 when asked about reports he was now taking “direct control”.

Mr Johnson will chair the C-19 strategy committee, with Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Home Secretary Priti Patel, Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove, Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Business Secretary Alok Sharma expected to attend.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak
Chancellor Rishi Sunak is among ministers expected to attend the new committee (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Meanwhile, a second committee – the C-19 operations committee – will be led by Mr Gove, with Mr Sunak and Mr Hancock also attending.

Other Cabinet ministers will attend the committee meetings “according to the agenda”, and they will meet “as often as is required”, Number 10 said.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman told a Westminster briefing that the Government was moving into “another phase” of the coronavirus response and the changes were an “update to existing structures”.

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove
Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove will lead a second committee (Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street/Crown Copyright/PA)

“In the past, we had ministerial groups, they are now being replaced by this new structure,” he said.

“We are moving into the recovery phase and the implementation of our recovery roadmap.”

The Prime Minister will continue to have a daily update meeting with senior officials on the latest data.

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